Xiaomi 11T Pro 5G review: ticks all boxes… almost
Xiaomi’s rejuvenated interest in the affordable flagship space has competitors worried, and justifiably so. After all, the company built its footing in the country with VFM phones and the brand even helped shape the flagship-killer segment to a certain degree. Suffice it to say, Xiaomi has the affordable segment down to fine art and the company’s latest entrant epitomises the brand’s expertise in offering more for less.
I am, of course, talking about the Xiaomi 11T Pro which was launched in the country recently. The handset ships with a compelling spec sheet and is only the second phone in the country to make use of stupendously fast, 120W wired charging. I managed to get my hands on a unit and here’s what I make of it after spending some time with the phone.
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The Xiaomi 11T Pro 5G is a compelling affordable flagship that gets most things right. That said, the handset is a tad bulky and the phone’s performance – while good – falls a bit behind the competition. Regardless, if you’re in the market for a VFM smartphone geared towards media consumption, the 11T Pro 5G is a sound bet.
The Xiaomi 11T Pro cuts a handsome package and the device is available in three stunning hues. I was sent the Celestial Blue colourway for review which features a colour-shifting gradient on the back. The gradient design, albeit commonplace, looks quite good and the pattern exhibits different shades of blue and purple when light impacts the back of the phone. What’s more, the device ships with a matte finish and correspondingly, you’ll rarely have to wipe it down to keep the phone in pristine condition. Add to that the unit’s glass-sandwich design and the 11T Pro 5G feels every bit as premium as the competition.
That said, the device is a tad unwieldy to use, which can be accredited to its wide frame. Making matters worse, the phone is quite heavy too and at 204 grams, you’ll undoubtedly feel the handset’s heft once you start using the 11T Pro 5G on a day-to-day basis. Now, to the company’s credit, the phone’s back curves into the frame, thereby lending users a desirable in-hand grip. Despite that, the device isn’t cut out for one-handed usage.
On the bright side, the Xiaomi 11T Pro ships with a speedy, side-mounted, capacitive fingerprint sensor that’s embedded within the phone’s power button. The scanner’s placement is spot on, so you won’t have to rejig your grip to reach the unit with your thumb. You can even unlock the phone by means of facial recognition, which worked brilliantly during my stint with the phone too. As for the rest of the ports and keys, the handset ships with a volume rocker on its right-hand spine, along with a USB Type-C port at the bottom. Much to my dismay, the device doesn’t feature a headphone jack. That said, the phone somewhat makes up for the omission with its dual symmetrical speakers that get plenty loud for watching movies on the fly. In fact, the 11T Pro 5G’s stereo speaker setup can easily give the competition a run for their money – the set sounds stellar, offers ample separation and even adds a bit of depth to low-end frequencies too.
The same goes for the phone’s haptics too and the 11T Pro 5G’s X-axis linear vibration motor paves the way for a joyous typing experience. I’d also like to point out that the 11T Pro 5G features a handy IR blaster too, which can control a handful of electronic appliances at your home.
The Xiaomi 11T Pro 5G sports a 6.67-inch, FHD+, AMOLED display that refreshes at 120Hz. While all that’s good and dandy, the panel boasts an A+ rating from folks over at DisplayMate, and the device is compliant with HDR 10 as well as Dolby Vision. Now, to be clear, a handful of phones can relay HDR media from OTT services like Netflix. However, the 11T Pro 5G stands out as the device that can utilise Dolby Vision to dynamically adjust the metadata to best optimise an HDR video for the phone’s screen. To cut a long story short, the smartphone offers a phenomenal viewing experience and you’ll revel in watching shows like Snowpiercer or Daredevil on the phone.
What’s more, the panel gets plenty bright too and at 1,000 nits, I never faced any issues using the phone outdoors, under the sun. Moreover, the panel is bordered by sleek bezels and offers solid viewing angles as well. In fact, I didn’t notice any erratic colour shift when viewing the screen from the side. Furthermore, the device also ships with a ton of display-centric utilities, including a dedicated reading mode and sunlight mode. Users can even tweak the display’s colour temperature to their liking, and choose from a handful of Always-On displays for the lock screen as well. And fret not – the panel is layered with Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus, ensuring your screen stays scratch-free after prolonged usage too.
That’s not all as the screen is quite spacious as well. Correspondingly, gamers will be greeted with an accommodating panel that can comfortably fit all their snazzy touch controls without feeling too cramped or congested. Speaking of which, the display offers a touch sampling rate of 480Hz as well and rest assured, the 11T Pro 5G’s panel is plenty fluid and snappy.
The Xiaomi 11T Pro 5G is a dependable camera phone and the handset can click appealing photos during the day. Specs-wise, the device features a 108MP main sensor that works alongside an 8MP ultra-wide angle sensor and a 5MP TeleMacro unit. For selfies, the smartphone ships with a 16MP front-facing camera.
The 11T Pro 5G managed to impress with its photography prowess. Here is what you can expect from the phone’s camera setup –
- The 11T Pro 5G clicks abundantly detailed images during the day. The pixel-binned shots from the phone’s 108MP sensor are replete with information, albeit appear a tad contrast-y. Consequently, you’ll notice that the edges of a building, as well as the tyres of the cars, appear distinctly outlined and darkened in the sample shots. That’s not all, as the phone tends to spruce up the image by enhancing the colours in the frame too. To be clear, the colours don’t appear overly saturated, however, the snaps aren’t authentic either.
- On the whole, I was quite happy with the daylight shots snapped by the 11T Pro 5G. The photos offer ample sharpness, good details and appealing colours. If anything, I would’ve liked to see the phone squeeze out more information from the shadows or the darker bits of the frame.
- The lowlight images offer oodles of detail too. What’s more, the snaps don’t turn out too grainy and the device even keeps a lid on lens flaring as well. With the night mode enabled, the smartphone is able to squeeze out even more details, albeit in doing so, the sensor introduces some noise in the frame. As an example, in the slider attached above, you’ll notice that the images snapped with the night mode enabled offer superior details towards the edges of the frame and the handset brings out the trees overlooking the building beautifully. That said, the added details come at the expense of some noise, so you win some and you lose some here.
- The wide-angle images, on the other hand, are serviceable at best. While I was content with the details around the centre of the frame, the photos’ corner sharpness could’ve been better.
- The Xiaomi 11T Pro 5G clicks quality self-portraits too. To wit, the photos appear sharp and the subject’s skin tone is rendered accurately too. That said, much like the phone’s main sensor, the 11T Pro 5G’s front-facing camera goes for a contrast-y look too. Correspondingly, you’ll notice sharp outlines around the subject’s face and hair.
- The handset can snap hi-res, 108MP photos as well. That said, the feature doesn’t utilise a lot of post-processing chops and consequently, you’ll find the standard pixel-binned images to have better dynamic range, among other things. What’s more, it’s hard to overlook the noise in the frame, especially at a 100 percent crop while snapping 108MP photos with the 11T Pro 5G.
Performance, Software and Battery life
Spec-wise, the Xiaomi 11T Pro 5G is backed by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 processor which works alongside LPDDR5 memory and UFS 3.1 storage. Unsurprisingly, the handset performs like a true-blue flagship and the device breezes through most chores without much hassle. That said, I noticed that the phone would heat up over extended gaming sessions. Moreover, much like most other Snapdragon 888-backed devices, the handset suffers from throttling too. In fact, the handset dipped to 73 percent of its peak performance after a 30-minute run in our CPU throttling test. In contrast, the OnePlus 9RT (review) handled strenuous loads much better and throttled to just 81 percent of its max performance.
Be that as it may, I didn’t notice any major frame drops whilst gaming on the phone. To wit, the device can play popular BR titles like BGMI and CoD Mobile at the best graphics and FPS settings. Furthermore, the phone can crunch through edits in Kinemaster without breaking a sweat as well. As for software, the device boots the company’s MIUI v12.5 on top of Android 11. The custom skin is replete with features and offers a built-in app lock, a dedicated screen recorder as well as a decked-out theme store. That said, the interface is chockablock with bloatware and the phone tends to kill apps in memory rather aggressively too. Furthermore, while you can download icon packs from the Xiaomi theme store, the smartphone’s custom launcher doesn’t support third-party icon packs from the Play Store, which is a bummer.
The Xiaomi 11T Pro is only the second phone in the country to be backed by 120W wired charging. Per the brand, the charging tech can juice up the phone’s 5,000mAh battery in just 17 minutes. Interestingly, even with the handset turned on, I was able to refuel the phone from 0-100 percent in a little over 20 minutes, which is absolutely bizarre. What’s more, the phone’s battery lasts a good while too and I averaged around six hours of screen on time with the phone during my stint with it. Rest assured, you’ll rarely have to rush to work or an outing with your 11T Pro 5G completely discharged.
The Xiaomi 11T Pro 5G retails for a starting price of Rs 39,999. Among the aspects it falters on, the first is its unwieldy frame. Next, the smartphone does throttle more than its fiercest rival – the OnePlus 9RT. The latter’s new and improved cooling solution has paid dividends and the device could be a better buy for hardcore gamers. For its asking price though, the 11T Pro gets a lot of things right. For one, the device looks good, supports 120W fast charging and offers a stunning display that can relay HDR media well.
What’s more, the smartphone ships with an excellent set of speakers that’ll undoubtedly enhance the user’s media consumption experience, and the handset’s camera setup can click appealing photos come night or day as well. Most importantly, the Xiaomi 11T Pro 5G undercuts the OnePlus 9RT by a couple of thousand bucks too. Do let us know in the comments below which phone you’d rather buy and as always, stay tuned to our blog for more reviews.
Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5
- Stunning display
- 120W fast charging
- Fantastic stereo speakers
- 108MP sensor clicks good photos
- Too bulky
- No headphone jack
- Throttles quite a bit